Roberto Rossellini

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Saimo
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Re: Roberto Rossellini

#26 Post by Saimo » Tue Jan 17, 2012 2:01 pm

In 2009 I worked with Adriano Aprà and Sara Leggi on a "virtual reconstruction" of Vanina Vanini director's cut. We worked using Rossellini's original dialogues and behind-the-scene photos, and we made a 54 minute video with the missing scenes, similar to the Four Devils reconstruction. We screened it at festivals and university simposiums, but unfortunately we never got the opportunity for a DVD release.

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TMDaines
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Re: Roberto Rossellini

#27 Post by TMDaines » Tue Jan 17, 2012 2:07 pm

tag gallagher wrote:The distinction between a director's home-product soundtrack and third-party soundtracks for other markets doesn't hold up in Rossellini's case, as I've illustrated here with half-a-dozen examples. You'd also have problems applying this to Visconti's Burt Lancaster films. And with a zillion other Italian films. Are you aware for that for about 25 years, recently, almost all Italian films were shot in English (not in direct sound), with hopes for export, and then dubbed into Italian for the home market? How does that fit your paradigm? A really wonderful instance of this was La maschera (Infascelli, 1988) which was made in English and accepted by the New York Film Festival -- which, however, insisted on a subtitled copy of the Italian dubbing.
Yes, I am aware of this. Italian (and German) cinema is my particular interest so I'm fairly well read on it, even if I haven't seen the same volume of films that others have.

My rule of thumb and distincition does need some refinement and addendums admittedly.

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Re: Roberto Rossellini

#28 Post by david hare » Wed Jan 18, 2012 1:47 am

According to amazon.it the March Italian Blu Ray of Viaggio in Italia is sadly just that:
"Lingua: italiana".

Dommage

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TMDaines
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Re: Roberto Rossellini

#29 Post by TMDaines » Wed Jan 25, 2012 7:47 pm

Nowell-Smith on the aforementioned language issues in Bergman/Rossellini films.

Europa '51 seems to be the one where it is less clear about which track is preferable.

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Re: Roberto Rossellini

#30 Post by tag gallagher » Wed Jan 25, 2012 8:47 pm

Europa '51 is an Italian film, so obviously Italian is preferable.
But Europe 51 is an English film, so equally obviously English is preferable.
The film stars two Hollywood stars -- Ingrid Bergman and Alexander Knox (who was very well known at the time, notably for appearing as Woodrow Wilson). What is unclear about choosing between seeing them with their own voices speaking English? or seeing them with other people's voices speaking Italian?

The Dagrada book (and Nowell-Smith's review) err in stating that "Angst/La paura presents a different set of problems. The original was shot twice, more or less shot-for-shot, with a view to making a German and an international version for dubbing into English and Italian." The reason it was shot twice is that it was shot once in German and once in English. Portions of the English were dubbed, but Ingrid Bergman is in direct sound. Dagrada/Nowell-Smith incorrectly imply that the German version was somehow superior. In fact, the English version contains additional scenes and more careful editing, which is why it was the English rather than the German version which was subsequently dubbed (not by Rossellini) in Italian.

Nowell-Smith errs in stating there is an English version of Viaggio in Italia. Viaggio in Italia is an Italian film, in Italian. There is no such title in English. There does exist at least one print of Viaggio in Italia in Italian with English subtitles. All of these are dubbings, again with voices that are not those of the three English-speaking actors. The English version, which has an important scene deleted from Viaggio in Italia and which has those three actors speaking English with their own voices (in what often sounds to me like direct sound), has been titled variously: The Lonely Woman; Strangers; Journey to Italy; Voyage in Italy; Voyage en Italie, but never "Viaggio in Italia" except in a dvd cobbled together by -- you guessed it -- the BFI!

Personal note: Elena Dagrada received much help from me in writing her book, then plagiarized me extensively without once mentioning my name.

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Re: Roberto Rossellini

#31 Post by tag gallagher » Thu Jan 26, 2012 12:52 am

The thing about EUROPA/E 51 is that there are so many different editions of it. A wonderful sequence of Bergman going to the movies after her factory day is only in the print premiered at the Venice Festival, and not in any subsequent Italian or English editions -- among which the differences are relatively minor, compared to the movies sequence. Below is a comparison of edition I made a few years ago. I'd be surprised if new variants haven't subsequently been discovered.


Edition A) Shown: Sept. 12, 1952 (Venice Festival: Italian dubbing, Europa’ 51): 116 minutes (Nitrate at Archivio Storico delle Arti Contemporanee, Venice: 3183m, reduced from 3220m for censor seal). In a scene deleted from subsequent editions, Irene, after her vertiginous nightmare at the factory, crosses Piazza Barberini, enters the cinema [built by Rossellini’s father; a Totò film is playing], and is overpowered by a documentary on how dam construction furnishes power for factories that furnish work—represented by a vertigo of water (reminiscent of the staircase vertigo where her son died).

Edition B) Released: Dec. 4, 1952 (Catania); Jan. 9, 1953 (Rome: Italian dubbing): 113’20” (Positive prints at Cineteca Nazionale: 3134m). Cinema scene omitted. Priest scene shortened—Irene is less aggressively messianic, the priest insists on rules rather than cautioning moderation. Conference of judge, doctor and lawyer is two minutes shorter and less uncertain.

Edition C: English language editions. All known editions omit opening scene of old couple on street (she complains of transit strike, he rebukes her lack of social conscience). Add extra lines added to dinner scene (Irene mentions Marshall Plan); coffee scene (her mother talks of her youth); office scene (in Italian edition Andrea recalls period of postwar solidarity as best in his life; in English he tells Irene she was selfish and frivolous then but now is concerned with “the class struggle”); Giulietta scene (she asks if Irene comes from Organization of Displaced Persons). Replace Irene’s Italian repetition that work is punishment humiliating everyone by her telling André, “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” Omit scenes when Irene goes out at night searching for medicine for the dying prostitute, is guided to a pharmacy, meets the doctor in the piazza. Reduces insert of George and Irene’s mother during Ines’s death from four to three shots. Omit a searing CU of the dead prostitute’s face panning down to her neck is deleted. Omit a newspaper headline: “Mystery woman helps the escape of one of the Trastevere bank robbers. The accomplice is a foreigner—and the robber’s lover?” Change the Pugliesi boy’s name changed to Strada and delete reference to his father’s Fascist past. Change judge asking if Irene is a Communist to whether she belongs to a political party. Truncate end of priest scene (Irene no longer challenges why he is afraid, and he seems less confused).

C) Shown: Oct. 11, 1952 (New York: Salute to Italian Film Week, Little Carnegie Theatre, English dubbing, Europe ‘51). Rejected for poor dubbing. No other details available.

D) Released: Jan. 13, 1954 (67 metropolitan theaters, New York, [new] English dubbing, The Greatest Love); 109’30”. Two prints are known in the U.S.

D-1, Martin Scorsese’s print: Michel’s line to Irene, after she swats him, “You’re all naked. Shame on you!” is garbled. An insert of George in scene with Irene and mother is omitted. Gigetto’s song is in English. Omits a pan with Irene from Ines’s window to her bed. R-edits conference of commissioner, lawyer and Gerard with CUs rather than medium two-shots.

D-2, Tag Gallagher’s 16mm: like D-1 except: Omits three inserts of George and Irene’s mother during Ines’s death. Cuts 35” from Irene’s long take with the priest (Her: “that’s exactly what causes all the evil in this world, this necessity we feel to change people….We should improve their nature. Who are we to dare to change them? God made them as they are. How sad it is suddenly to discover that we’ve been dictators in our lives to ourselves and others.” Him: “isn’t it selfish of you to give way to these impulses of yours, to allow yourself to be swept perhaps to perdition?”).

E, prints deposited at Cineteca Nazionale, Rome, Europe ‘51: 109’30” (2992m). Like D-1 except: redubs Michel’s “naked” line clearly; retains insert of George; retains pan with Irene.

F) Apr. 15, 1953 (Cannes Festival: English dubbing, French subtitles, Europe ‘51); May 5, 1953 (Paris: English dubbing; also French dubbing): (Cinémathèque Française print: 2896m). Like D-1 except: has clear redub of Michel’s “naked”; omits first shot on bus going to Primavalle; Gigetto sings in Italian; reduces inserts of George and mother during Ines’s death to one shot; keeps conference of commisioner, lawyer and Gerard in medium shots (as in B) rather than in CUs; two small cuts in priest scene.

G) US telecasts on Bravo from Janus Films, Europe ‘51). 109 mins. Like D-1 except: has clear redub of Michel’s “naked”; Gigetto sings in Italian; keeps conference in medium shots.

cinemartin

Re: Roberto Rossellini

#32 Post by cinemartin » Thu Jan 26, 2012 1:40 am

Mr. Gallagher, this is completely off topic, but is there a place to view your "orphan" visual essays for Rossellini's films online? I've heard very good things about a Flowers of Saint Francis video.

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Peacock
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Re: Roberto Rossellini

#33 Post by Peacock » Thu Jan 26, 2012 5:33 am

I'm not he but I can tell you most of his orphans (including the one you mention, which is one of the best) are available on a certain website...

And Tag, thanks for all this information; it's great... If a major independent label from the US or UK were to release Europa 51/Europe 51 what version(s) do you think they should include if they were to limit it to two or three? (Seeing as I sadly can't imagine a big boxset for all the different cuts)

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Re: Roberto Rossellini

#34 Post by Giulio » Thu Jan 26, 2012 9:07 am

I saw a magnificent copy of Europa 51 at the Cineteca Nazionale di Roma three years ago, they presented the english version, that was wonderful to hear ingrid bergman with her own voice. I still think that this is the best version (compared to the one I saw in italian on the italian dvd) An Ingrid Bergman/Rossellini trilogy (Europa 51, Stromboli, Viaggio in Italia) boxset from criterion would be the the dream of my life...

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Re: Roberto Rossellini

#35 Post by tag gallagher » Thu Jan 26, 2012 10:22 am

There's only the one orphan and yes it's on that website. I hope that helps, cinemartin.
I understand that Criterion has US rights for Europe '51 (aka The Greatest Love). I can't imagine why anyone would prefer to have Bergman and Knox dubbed by Italians than in their own voices -- unless of course one understands Italian but not English. If I had my way, I'd insert the going-to-the-movies sequence (and a short scene later when she goes to a pharmacy), but this would create an edition that never existed (in English).

Giulio, why limit the dream of your life to a trilogy? Why not a sexlogy - Europe 51, Stromboli, Voyage in Italy, Fear, Joan of Arc, The Chicken?

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Re: Roberto Rossellini

#36 Post by cinemartin » Thu Jan 26, 2012 11:36 am

It seems it would be beneficial to release multiple cuts of each film, creating something like a "definitive" presentation. I'm not sure how illuminating seeing each cut would be (as it was for something like Arkadin), but it would certainly be preferable to a choosing by more or less personal preference. Certainly Stromboli can have 2 versions, Europe 51 has been detailed above, Fear and Joan of Arc can have 2 (at least?); Mr. Gallagher can correct me if I'm wrong, but it sounds like Voyage to Italy is really superfluous in its Italian edition and India was actually just one film that became split into 2 due to carelessness. Il generale della Rovere has the version shown at Venice as well as Rossellini's refined release print. The History Films (aside from Louis) are all differential by language (aside an abbreviated version of Acts Of Apostles) and Criterion have done well to include different language options on the Eclipse.

The fascinating thing with Rossellini that was mentioned is his flagrant disregard for post-production in general, resulting in no authoritative version of much of his work. Indeed, it challenges the notion of "a work", specifically that of a finished, consumable product. It's interesting how he compares to a filmmaker like Welles, whose own vagaries in post-production has resulted in many fractures in his oeuvres. The difference, of course, is Welles was meticulous and slow creating his final product, constantly obsessing to the point that there was no "final product" at all - just a perpetual work in progress. Not only Arkadin, which was taken away from him, therefore sorting through which version may be closest to Welles' intention (which, if we know his working style, is futile), but also films that he had complete control over his entire life, like Othello (the many versions owing to the fact that Welles was never satisfied and loved to tinker, even after premieres and releases).

The end result of these two different filmmakers remains the same - multiple versions, legal tangles, rights nightmares. Both were fond of wine, women, and song and taking off on an adventure at a moments notice. I think it's that spirit of adventure and thirst for a new experience that informs their work the most.

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Re: Roberto Rossellini

#37 Post by tag gallagher » Thu Jan 26, 2012 12:29 pm

In the U.S., for many decades the practise was to hold unpublicized previews of films and then, based partly on audience reactions, to edit the picture for release. Sometimes the preview versions have survived and have been released (e.g., My Darling Clementine; The Big Sleep). Whether this is justified or not is open to debate. Sometimes the preview version MAY reflect the director's cut before it was "destroyed" by the studio, but this is difficult to ascertain: maybe it's the other way around.

In Italy, I don't know that previews existed much or ever. Instead, the first showing of any sort was often at the Venice Festival, and in many instances (half?) the films were re-edited prior to general release. This happened all the more frequently because films were often rushed to completion in order to make it in time for Venice. This was certainly the case with Il generale Della Rovere, and both the Venice version and the release version are available on Italian dvds (with English subtitles). In this case, the Venice version is really a footnote: the changes that were made were made by Rossellini and they're all improvements; the Venice version is not even particularly interesting for "study" purposes. Paisà had a much more troubled history, and 5/6ths of (probably) the Venice version survive, and again Rossellini made the changes and the film was much improved, but in this case some of the deleted scenes are interesting.

In most cases, the several versions of certain titles are simply the result of different language markets. A film in English or German or French could not be distributed in Italy; subtitles were not an option there. Likewise for tv, you can't have subtitles -- which is why cable tv in the U.S. offers about 5000 movies per week of which only one or two have subtitles.

I don't think it's apt to suggest these movies were "perpetual work in progress." Rossellini had a horror of looking back. He wanted to be finished with one project, forget it, and begin something new. The last thing he wanted to do was to tinker with an "old" film. He didn't even want to hang around for post-production.

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TMDaines
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Re: Roberto Rossellini

#38 Post by TMDaines » Thu Jan 26, 2012 12:55 pm

tag gallagher wrote:Europa '51 is an Italian film, so obviously Italian is preferable.
But Europe 51 is an English film, so equally obviously English is preferable.
The film stars two Hollywood stars -- Ingrid Bergman and Alexander Knox (who was very well known at the time, notably for appearing as Woodrow Wilson). What is unclear about choosing between seeing them with their own voices speaking English? or seeing them with other people's voices speaking Italian?
While that is true Tag, the elephant in the room is that there were so many Italian films featuring either Italian actors or international actors, who were chosen solely for their names or faces, where there was never any question that the sound would be post-syronchised using different actors anyway. While your point probably stands up here, in many other cases it wouldn't even be considered an issue that the actor in front of the camera was one person and the person doing the sound behind the microphone was another entirely, whether that be because the actor couldn't speak Italian, didn't have the right dialect or a different voice was simply preferred.

I'm not particularly arguing Europa '51 is one of these cases. I am just asking these questions to find out the right answer, where possible, and it seems as good a chance as any to pick the brains of someone like yourself who is knowledgable on this subject.

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Re: Roberto Rossellini

#39 Post by tag gallagher » Thu Jan 26, 2012 1:21 pm

I was lucky to have an interview with Maria Mercader, Vittorio De Sica's second wife and a famous actress in Italian films. She was Spanish and told me how horrified she was when she came to Italy in the 1930s and was dubbed. She immediately learned Italian to prevent that happening again.

So: some Italians did care. Not many, apparently.

But it is an issue for non-Italians.

Sorry, but I'm not clear what your point is. Are you saying that because most Italians (Rossellini included) didn't give a damn about dubbing, that we shouldn't either? Are you saying that when Rossellini went to Germany and made a film in German with German actors, or went to France and made a film in French with French actors, and then had these films brought to Italy and had an assistant oversee their dubbing into Italian with Italian "actors, that we should respect these editions as just as good as those in the original language (and direct sound), simply because Rossellini was Italian and Italians didn't care?

Of course there is only an "issue" when there is alternative. In the monks episode in Paisà, the monk actors were from south of Naples and had to be dubbed by northern Italians because the monastery is supposed to be in the North. Any six of the lead actors in Roma città aperta were dubbed for one reason or another. In these cases there is no alternative. One can deplore dubbing and bemoan the lack of lip synch, but there's nothing to be done about it.

The case of ANGST/FEAR is more problematic, because the German actor Mathias Wieman is still adored today in Germany for his exceptionally wonderful speaking voice. So obviously in you have fluent German, it is horrible to have to hear him dubbed in English (or Italian). On the other hand, if you don't know German, the English version is preferable because (editing issues aside) you get Ingrid Bergman in direct sound. So both editions have a claim, I think. But why should we give any claim whatsoever to the Italian edition (La paura) which wasn't even supervised by Rossellini? Why is the claim of La paura or Viaggio in Italia or Germania anno zero or Luigi XIV any greater than the claim of Il citadino Kane or all the Italian dubbings of The Searchers or Gigi or you-name-it?

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TMDaines
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Re: Roberto Rossellini

#40 Post by TMDaines » Thu Jan 26, 2012 2:39 pm

tag gallagher wrote:Sorry, but I'm not clear what your point is. Are you saying that because most Italians (Rossellini included) didn't give a damn about dubbing, that we shouldn't either? Are you saying that when Rossellini went to Germany and made a film in German with German actors, or went to France and made a film in French with French actors, and then had these films brought to Italy and had an assistant oversee their dubbing into Italian with Italian "actors, that we should respect these editions as just as good as those in the original language (and direct sound), simply because Rossellini was Italian and Italians didn't care?
No, no. I was just suggesting or clarifying the fact that the actors spoke English (mother tongue or otherwise) doesn't necessarily mean that an English voice track would be preferred in all cases.

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Re: Roberto Rossellini

#41 Post by tag gallagher » Thu Jan 26, 2012 3:04 pm

Why wouldn't it be preferred to have an English voice track of someone speaking English?

Acts of the Apostles, maybe. Here everyone spoke their own tongue or just numbers for the scratch track. And at least one actor spoke English. There never was anything remotely approximating an "original language" edition. Every dubbing is equally valid. But in the Italian or French or German or Spanish or (?) Arabic editions, everyone is speaking the same language, so we wouldn't want to make an exception tho' he is an Englishman.

There's also BLAISE PASCAL where Pascal spoke French and everyone else Italian, so we have Italian and French editions, in which everyone speaks French or everyone speaks Italian. So you choose: do you want Pierre Arditi's French voice and a French movie about Pascal? Or, do you want to hear the Italian actors in Italian and maybe understand what Pascal is saying better because you know Italian better than French? -- and anything is better than subtitles.

Have you still seen neither edition of STROMBOLI?

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Re: Roberto Rossellini

#42 Post by tag gallagher » Thu Jan 26, 2012 4:02 pm

Here is a link from which one may download an avi of my video about Rossellini's Francesco.

It is 329 MB, one file.

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TMDaines
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Re: Roberto Rossellini

#43 Post by TMDaines » Thu Jan 26, 2012 4:34 pm

Thanks for the upload.
tag gallagher wrote:Have you still seen neither edition of STROMBOLI?
Nope, I haven't. The language department library here have misplaced the English version of Stromboli so I can't watch it. I'm sure I can get a hold of it by other means.

cinemartin

Re: Roberto Rossellini

#44 Post by cinemartin » Thu Jan 26, 2012 5:27 pm

Thanks for the upload! Looking forward to watching it. Plus, I've been meaning to revisit Francis as well so this will be a good opportunity.

"I don't think it's apt to suggest these movies were "perpetual work in progress." Rossellini had a horror of looking back. He wanted to be finished with one project, forget it, and begin something new. The last thing he wanted to do was to tinker with an "old" film. He didn't even want to hang around for post-production."

I was speaking about Welles' work here to contrast it with Rossellini's methods. Sorry if this was unclear.

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Re: Roberto Rossellini

#45 Post by michaellavine » Wed Nov 21, 2012 7:53 pm

I am looking for a english subtitled ntsc version of Rossellini's film FEAR. Sometimes called La Paura, or Angst. Does anyone know if this exists?

thanks!

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Re: Roberto Rossellini

#46 Post by tag gallagher » Thu Nov 22, 2012 10:21 am

FEAR was shot twice, basically: once in German, once in English. So there are two authentic editions: ANGST and FEAR.

The Italian version, La paura, is a dubbing in Italian of the English version; it is not an authentic edition. There is also a re-editing of La paura, done without Rossellini's consent, called NON CREDO PIU IN AMORE, which makes various changes, and is also not an authentic edition.

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Re: Roberto Rossellini

#47 Post by michaellavine » Thu Nov 22, 2012 1:16 pm

this is good to know. I've been reading fragments of this information but was unable to piece it together. My next question is: How do I see the english version FEAR? where can I find it? It seems to be nowhere.

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Re: Roberto Rossellini

#48 Post by ellipsis7 » Thu Nov 22, 2012 2:40 pm

We believe Criterion is gestating a ROSSELLINI/BERGMAN set, in which presumably it would be included, to be released at a yet to be determined date in the future...

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Re: Roberto Rossellini

#49 Post by Saimo » Thu Nov 22, 2012 2:51 pm

tag gallagher wrote: The Italian version, La paura, is a dubbing in Italian of the English version
If I remember correctly, the Italian version actually features some very minor differences from the English one. For example, I think the incipit contains some extra shots not included in the English version.

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TMDaines
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Re: Roberto Rossellini

#50 Post by TMDaines » Fri Nov 23, 2012 7:35 am

tag gallagher wrote:FEAR was shot twice, basically: once in German, once in English. So there are two authentic editions: ANGST and FEAR.

The Italian version, La paura, is a dubbing in Italian of the English version; it is not an authentic edition. There is also a re-editing of La paura, done without Rossellini's consent, called NON CREDO PIU IN AMORE, which makes various changes, and is also not an authentic edition.
I'm attemping to watch this for a dissertation I'm doing this year on Rossellini and his representation of Germans/Germany. It seems there's only the Italian NON CREDO PIU IN AMORE version available online right now, with English fansubs, and the English language version from 1954 is currently difficult to get hold of.

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